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Ch. 5—Language . KI 1—Where are English-language speakers distributed?. Some estimates suggest that there are over 6,909 languages—11 of which over 100 million people speak 153 languages are spoken by more than 3 million people

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ch 5 language

Ch. 5—Language

KI 1—Where are English-language speakers distributed?


Some estimates suggest that there are over 6,909 languages—11 of which over 100 million people speak

  • 153 languages are spoken by more than 3 million people
  • Language- a system of communication through speech, a collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have the same meaning
  • Many countries have an official language—the one used by the governemnt
origin and diffusion of english

English is the 1st language of 328 million people—and is spoken fluently by over 500 million more

  • Official language of 57 countries
  • 1/3 of the world’s population lives in a country where English is the official language
Origin and Diffusion of English
english colonies

Distribution of English Speakers exists because people from England migrated and established colonies over the past 4 centuries

  • England to North America—1607 Jamestown, Virginia and 1620 Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • After England defeated French in French and Indian War, the principal language was assured
  • Also had colonies in South Asia—India (mid-18th century)
  • South Pacific—Australia, New Zealand (late-18th century)
  • South Africa in the late 19th Century
  • More recently the United States has been responsible for diffusion on English—notably in the Philippines—ceded from Spain to U.S. in 1899 (after Spanish American War) and gained independence 1946, retained English as one of their official languages
English Colonies
origin of english language

British Isles have been inhabited for thousands of years

  • Originally inhabitants called Celts spoke Celtic
  • Invaded around 450 A.D. by tribes from Mainland Europe (Saxons, Angles, Jutes)—from Denmark and Germany—brought first English
  • The name England comes from Angles’ Land—Old English spelt Angles Engles and language they spoke was Englisc
  • People with English heritage are often reffered to as Anglo-Saxons
  • English is different then German because England was conquered in 1066 by the Normans who spoke French
Origin of English Language
dialects of english

Dialect- a regional variation of a language distinguished by distinctive vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation

  • Distribution of dialects is studied by documentation of particular words
  • Isogloss- a usage boundary that can be constructed for every word
  • Languages with different dialects can have a standard language—a dialect that is well recognized as the most acceptable for govt, edu, etc.
  • For English it is British Received Pronunciation (BRP)
Dialects of English
differences between british and american english

Vocabulary different—American settlers encountered new objects and experiences (animals, forests, mountains, etc.)

  • Combined British dialect with words from Native Americans (canoe, moccasin, squash)
  • New inventions were given different names (elevator vs. lift)
  • Spelling differed because of American’s desire to distance themselves from British
Differences between British and American English

- British Slang vs. American Slang

- British Accent vs. American Accent

dialects in the united states

New England:

    • Inhabited almost entirely by England
  • Southeastern:
    • About half came from southeast England (deported prisoners, indentured servants, and political refugees)
  • Middle Atlantic:
    • Most diverse
    • English, Scots, Irish, German, Dutch, and Swedish
Dialects in the United States